Since about a month or so, I am working with CopyTrack, a Berlin based company that searches the World Wide Web for infringements on my behalf. At the moment CPY is working on € 9.659,- worth of cases for me. That is: websites that actually received a letter, in which they are offered a license, for which they have to pay. That is Excluding websites, of which they couldn’t find an address; Excluding websites showing user generated content; Excluding photo’s used in printed media, etcetera, etcetera. This is what has been found after just one month of scanning and spidering.
Besides the payout’s I’m going to receive, always nice by the way, I naturally hope to find a bit more awareness with image users in the future, when using photographs made by others for publication. Not everything is free on the internet. Moreover, if you search for, and buy a drilling machine for home improvement or work, than it’s absolutely normal to pay for that machine. Why not do the exact same thing, when you purchase a photograph, to be used in your own advantage? Besides this, I rather go out and shoot new images to offer you, instead of being busy with hits and claims all day. That’s not why I am in the business of photography. CopyTrack is, though. And they seems to be quite effective in finding infringements.
My advise to all of you would be: if you want to use a photograph in one of your publications, and you can’t find a: “Pay-Here-For-The-License-Button”, don’t use it! Because that image is nevertheless copyright protected. Which means: use only if a proper license is obtained! So, rather search for an image, that has a: “Pay-Here-For-The-License-Button” right beside or underneath it. If you like the picture, and want to use it, press that button and pay the proper fee. Saves me (us) a lot of work afterwards. And saves you a lot of stress afterwards. Not mentioned that properly purchased licenses are often cheaper than the alternative … Right?